a week of take-out

Last week I didn’t feel like cooking. For one, my husband was in Montreal for work and two, I didn’t feel like going to the grocery store solo (we actually enjoy going together – I’m told this will change once we have kids). So I took advantage of the situation and had some of my favorites and one newbie.

Organic Energy Cafe
This small cafe opened last month next to Miles Farmer’s Market in Solon. The brothers who own this place also own Joey’s in Chagrin Falls (I tried to ignore that fact when I walked in). The place is all or mostly organic and features locally grown items whenever possible. I tried the artichoke and tuna panini with roasted red peppers and kalamata olives. I was told this was the best of the bunch. I also tried the Elvis smoothie: organic peanut butter, apples, banana and ice. The panini was very disappointing. It was too salty to eat, the tuna was dry and there was a single pepper. I ended up tossing it after a few bites and had a bowl of cereal instead. The smoothie wasn’t bad, although it didn’t really taste like the typical Elvis because the apple really over powered the banana and peanut butter. My bill was $14. I did think $7 was a bit high for a small smoothie, but considering it’s all organic, I’m fine paying more for better ingredients – I’m just not fine paying that much for something that ends up in the garbage. By the way, the best Elvis smoothie is at Liquid Planet.

Saffron Patch
The one day was cold and rainy – perfect weather for Indian food. I ordered the vegetable samosa and mutter paneer. Absolutely delicious! I love this place. Always consistently good Indian food. It’s not my favorite – that goes to Cafe Tandor, but this is definitely a close second.

Fresh Market on Van Aken
I love this grocery store. They have wonderful produce, some hard to find items, great prepared dishes, a nice cheese selection and friendly staff. I’ve had the soup and sushi as take out before and both pretty good. On weekends, they will make the sushi with brown rice. I like that option, just wish it wasn’t designated only to weekends. At least there is the sushi duo at Heinen’s and they will make sushi with brown rice anytime. That night I went with the tempura shrimp roll and a few pieces of tuna sashimi. Both were really good. I’ve never had bad sushi from there and for a grocery store, they really do a nice job. And trust me, they all don’t.

American Tavern
This is my favorite local spot. I used to bartend and serve here in college during the summers. This was always the go-to place for my friends growing up and sometimes now when those that have moved come back. A lot of fun times there. This place has been around forever. The owner, Linda, is unbelievable nice, as well as all the servers. It’s not amazing food per se, but definitely worth a visit. They have pretty good bar food (especially the wings, fish fry and burgers) and some unexpected entrees. The night James came home we decided to head to the AT for a quick dinner. I had a BLT on rye and a bowl of the tomato dill soup – which was surprisingly good. But then again, they always do a nice job with homemade soups. It’s very kid-friendly, too. My nieces and nephews love it.


  1. Anonymous
    Posted August 27, 2007 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to hear of your negative experience at Organic Energy. I lunched there a couple of weeks ago and everything was definitely “good,not great”, but I was happy to have them in place. I think the menu is too vast and perhaps they migt be better off whittling it down and focus on better and smaller until the kinks are out. HRobb

  2. hot coffee girl
    Posted August 27, 2007 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Do you ever do McDonald’s?

  3. michelle v
    Posted August 28, 2007 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    I will give them another shot, maybe for breakfast. Some of those items sounded really good and I’m a sucker for anything whole wheat. I agree, I am happy to have them near by and curious to see how they figure things out and what it will be like a few months from now.

    As for McDonald’s – Kelly, you’re hilarious! I’m convinced the best way to spend $1 is the hot fundge sundae there – but that is pretty much all I will get from McDonald’s. I’m not into fast food. Growing up, I can count on one hand all the times we had it. My mom never gave us pop or fast food – not even a take out pizza every now and then. She truly believed in cooking everything herself and having dinner together every single night, still does. So I never really got into fast food. But I will say every now and then I get a craving for the roast beef sandwhich at Arby’s.

  4. Allison M.
    Posted August 28, 2007 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been meaning to try that Organic place…maybe I won’t be in such a rush now.

  5. World Traveler
    Posted September 20, 2007 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    What a great blog! We are moving to the Cleveland area in a few weeks (from Toledo) and I can’t wait to try some of your suggestions, especially ethnic spots. Any recommendations for Lebanese? There are number of good Lebanese places in Toledo and I will need to get my fix in our new location.


  6. michelle v
    Posted September 21, 2007 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Welcome to Cleveland. There are several great Lebanese restaurants. Taza, located in Eton off Chagrin Blvd is pretty good. The service is horrible however, but I do enjoy the food and atmosphere inside. The people that own Taza, also own Aladdin’s – more casual Lebanese with locations on east and west sides of Cleveland. There is also another place located near Heinen’s off of Lander Circle in Pepper Pike. I have yet to go but I think it is called Tannour. Enjoy

  7. Anonymous
    Posted April 5, 2008 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    anybody ever try the place behind american tavern for lunch? cellarmaster wine and deli, fresh salads, breads, everything made to order.